“As fighters with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement wage the battles that are helping Syria’s regime survive, their chief sponsor, Iran, is emerging as the biggest victor in the wider regional struggle for influence that the Syrian conflict has become. With top national security aides set to meet at the White House on Wednesday to reassess options in light of recent setbacks for the rebels seeking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, the long-term outcome of the war remains far from assured, analysts and military experts say. But after the Assad regime’s capture of the small but strategic town of Qusair last week — a battle in which the Iranian-backed Shiite militia played a pivotal role — Iran’s supporters and foes alike are mulling a new reality: that the regional balance of power appears to be tilting in favor of Tehran……………..”
This man from the so-called Gulf Research Council is putting the usual mandatory GCC spin on events with all the talk of the threat of some imaginary hegemony. So I shall not argue that point: after all it comes from the UAE.
It is too early to wisely predict the final outcome of Syria. But it is true that the tide is now with the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah side. If they consolidate their hold over the rest of Aleppo, the back of the military opposition will have been broken effectively. (Retaking the rest of Homs can be a mop-up, a footnote for future action). That does not mean Bashar Al Assad can relax and resume his pre-2011 autocratic role in Damascus. No, the Syrian genie is out of the bottle, as it is in most Arab states, but it will not be a Salafi genie based on foreign tribal Wahhabi fighters fed by royal petro-money.
Wars, even civil wars, can turn around several time. Only months ago, and for more than a year, it was predicted that Al Assad will be out in a few weeks. So, it may not be wise to predict that he is home free in Damascus to stay. Who knows, the joint French-Saudi campaign to save Aleppo (and hence Syria) for Wahhabi-style democracy may prevail. Shall we call it the Franco-Saudi Socialist Polygamous Tribal Democratic Alliance?